MORECAMBE suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Northampton at Sixfields.
In a game that saw the Shrimps in charge for long periods a mixture of poor finishing and shabby defending proved costly as the home side took the spoils.
Boss Derek Adams stuck with the same side that beat Port Vale in midweek with the only change coming on the bench with new loan keeper Christoffer Mafoumbi replacing Andre Da Silva Mendes.
And the Shrimps started the game on the front foot with Jordan Slew slicing an early chance wide from the edge of the area and George Tanner forcing David Cornell into a flying save with a cross come shot from the left-hand side of the area that was heading for the top left-hand corner of the Cobblers’ goal.
Cole Stockton was then presented with a golden chance after being found by Adam Phillips in the box but he shot weakly straight at Cornell when he should have done much better.
He was made to pay for the miss when the home side took the lead on 28 minutes. Paul Anderson delivered a curling cross from midway inside the Morecambe half and the ball somehow ended up in the back of the Morecambe net.
The Shrimps hit back with Toumnani Digouraga presented with a good chance again by Phillips after some nice Morecambe play but his close-range volley was well blocked by Anderson.
To make matters worse for Adams' side they conceded a second goal in first-half injury time when they allowed the home side space down the left-hand side for Ryan Watson to drill in a low shot past Halstead from just inside the box.
The visitors’ comeback hopes were dashed early in the second half when Nicky Adams made it 3-0.
A deep cross from the right was punched clear by Halstead but the ball fell perfectly for Adams to beat the Shrimps’ keeper from eight yards out.
Morecambe pulled one back just after the hour to cause the home side’s fans a few nerves. Cole Stockton turned well on the edge of the area to send in a shot that was well saved by David Cornell but the rebound fell neatly for Phillips to score his second goal for the Shrimps.
As the Shrimps pushed forward for a second they conceded a fourth with a goal of quality from Chris Lines. Adams again did well down the left and crossed to the far post for Lines to smash a volley past Halstead from the edge of the box.
Halstead was forced to make a string of fine saves at the death to keep the score at four as the Shrimps left gaps at the back.
Cobblers: Cornell, Goode, Turnbull, Wharton, Hoskins, Adams (rep Martin 77), Lines, Watson, Anderson (rep Harriman 69), Oliver (rep Warburton 69), Williams. Subs not used: Arnold, Hall-Johnson, Pollock, Roberts
Morecambe: Halstead, Kenyon (rep Leitch-Smith 65), Old (rep Sutton 37), Stockton, Lavelle, Mendes Gomez, Tanner, Slew, Cooney, Phillips (rep O'Sullivan 74), Diagouraga. Subs not used: Luke Conlan, Tom Brewitt, Christoffer Mafoumbi
Referee: Graham Salisbury